20 Actionable SEO Tips for Australian Small Businesses to Increase Rankings – UR Digital

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a set of practices and techniques used to improve the organic ranking of websites on search engines. When people are conducting a search for a service or product on Google or another search engine, an effective SEO strategy drives traffic to your website. It helps increase the visibility of your website amongst your online competitors.

Why it is important for your Australian Business?

With more and more consumers turning online to search for goods and services, SEO is essential for your business if you are to be seen by your target audience. A strong online presence is necessary for all Australian businesses if you are to remain competitive in the market. Many Australian business are recognising the importance of SEO strategies in lead generation and are incorporating it in their marketing strategy.We have put together 20 actionable SEO tips for Australian businesses that will help them increase their rankings on search engines. These tips will guide you and provide you steps that you can apply to your website to fully optimise it.

1. Keyword Research – focus on your primary and secondary keywords.

When people think of SEO, keywords is what generally comes top of mind. Keyword research involves understanding the type of words your target audience are typing into search engines when searching for goods or services. Primary and secondary keywords are what you need to focus on when it comes to keyword research. Primary keywords are the main words or phrases that relates the mostly closely to your product or service. They are what you want to be ranking highly for in SEO. Secondary keywords tend to be more specific in nature and play a supporting role to primary keywords. Both primary and secondary keywords are important in ranking highly in SEO.Finding effective keywords involves putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and understanding what they would type when searching for solutions or answers to their problems. Start by typing in your primary keyword on Google and look for suggestions via Autocomplete and also Related Keywords section. If your business is seasonal then you might want to focus on Google Trends to gauge market interest, the type of searches and the most popular markets for it.

2. Write good quality original content.

Websites are filled with pages and pages of content which makes it challenging to capture people’s attention and even harder to hold it. Having good quality original content that appeals to your target audience not only engages users but also boosts your ranking on Google. Well-written fresh and new content that is comprehensive, insightful, original and unique improves your SEO ranking. Blogs and articles that are relevant and interesting compels users to stay on your website and helps to build trust and credibility. Tailoring your content to search intent provides information to your readers that they are looking for whether it be to buy a product or do further research. It provides a great user experience and makes them want to stay on your website. The longer a user stays on your website, the better your ranking will be for SEO.Pro Tip: The easiest way to identify intent is by searching for the keyword on Google and inspecting the search results, no need for expensive tools.

3. Optimise your content for featured snippets.

Featured snippets are a short amount of text that show up above search results on Google. Introduced in 2014, they provide a quick answer to a question typed in the Google search engine box. By having a featured snippet, it gives your website increased visibility and more organic traffic. Featured snippets are typically pulled content from high ranking web pages. In order to maximise your chance of having a feature snippet, your content needs to be optimised so it shows up in the top 10 results. Only particular search results bring up a featured snippet so if you are striving to appear on featured snippets, look for search results pages that display this when typing in a phrase. Also note, there are four different types of featured snippets – a paragraph of text, a table, bulleted or numbered list or video. Optimise your content so it answers questions that your target audience may have about your business product or service and increase your likelihood of appearing on featured snippets. This featured snippet optimization article is an excellent resource.

4. Create title and descriptions that users will want to click.

One of the ways you can improve your website’s ranking is by writing page titles and meta descriptions that entices users to want to click on your website pages. A good title and description is unique, has an appropriate length, uses keywords and hooks in users. The description should provide an overview of the contents of the page and be written in an engaging way that attracts people to your website. Both the title and description go hand in hand in assisting the indexing of your web pages by search engines and helps you rank higher in results pages.

5. Improve your page loading speed.

Google uses page speed as one of factors to rank a website for SEO. Page speed refers to the time it takes to load up your web pages. When it comes to the people visiting your website, a page that loads up quickly makes for an optimal user experience. People are more likely to remain on your website if pages load up fast otherwise visitors will leave and go elsewhere if it takes more than a few seconds for your website to load. A number of different ways can be used to improve your page speed. One way is to reduce the size of your images and compress them. The size of images on websites is often the biggest reason as to why a page may load slowly. Measure your website speed through a number of free online tools such as https://tools.pingdom.com/. You can then work at improving your website’s page speed and optimise the user experience for your target audience.

6. Internal linking to relevant pages.

An important actionable tip for your business for SEO is internal linking. Internal links guides visitors of your website to another page through the use of hyperlinks contained on the web page. They provide people with additional and relevant information that is all situated within your website. By providing internal links to relevant pages, it improves your ranking on Google by telling the search engine which website pages are the most important. This assists Google in finding the most relevant content, indexing it and ranking it. There are certain internal links that provide more value than others however all web pages all work together to provide meaning and context to one another. Search engines may place more value on pages with more internal links to be more important than those with less links. Internal linking provides a great user experience as it navigates users through different parts of your website and ultimately will make them more likely to take action on your website eg book a service, buy a product or send through an enquiry.

7. Optimise your images.

Image optimisation helps your website to rank highly on SEO. Also known as image SEO, the key is in using quality images that are clear and load quickly. Additionally, images make your website more visually appealing and breaks up long amounts of copy on a web page which provides a better user experience. As the saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. If your business involves selling products, using images is particularly crucial to show what your product looks like visually. This includes naming your image with short descriptive and relevant filenames, include captions and alt tags, using the correct image format, compressing your images and using unique images.

8. Simplify your URLs.

Improve your SEO ranking for your business by having URLs that are simplified and SEO friendly. A URL should be short, clear and to the point. Including a primary keyword in the URL will enable visitors and Google to know what your web page is about. Users can easily identify if the web page is relevant to them and click through accordingly. It makes it easier for search engines understand what your web page is about and index it which in turn leads to a better search engine ranking.

9. Keep users hooked on to your site.

The goal for your business is to have visitors to your website stay on there as long as possible. Also known as dwell time or the average session duration, it is the length of time a visitor spends on a particular website before clicking out of it to look at other search engine results. By keeping users hooked on to your site, this will signal to Google your website has information on there that is relevant and useful to visitors. Having content on your website that interests your audience provides a great user experience. A way that helps users stay longer on your website includes providing links internally to other web pages within your website. Use videos or podcasts that are embedded within your website that will engage and entertain users.

10. Schema Markup.

Schema Markup also known as structured data refers to data or code that is added to your website to tell search engines what your website is about and what it means. It’s like using neon post-it notes to highlight particular web pages that provides the most value for visitors. Schema Markup makes it easier for search engines like Google to index your website. By using structured data, it has the ability to make your website more visible in search engine results pages and improve your click-through rates.Below is the example of the type of results for the Event Schema. See entire Schema list available at https://schema.org.
Pro Tip: Once you have identified and created your schema markup, test it before making it live. I recommend you use Schema Markup Testing Tool by Google.

11. Monitor your broken links.

Having broken links on your website is frustrating and provides an unfavourable user experience for visitors who have clicked onto your website. Broken links arise due to a page being moved or archived, a change in the page name or the external website no longer existing. Not only is it an unpleasant experience for visitors to your website, it may also harm your SEO ranking and the reputation of your business. Ensure all your links are working effectively by using online tools that identifies broken links such as one provided by Ahrefs. Monitor your links so your visitors are not seeing the 404 errors saying ‘the page no longer exists’. Keep regularly testing your website links so you know they are current and working effectively.

12. Improve your user experience.

The goal of any website is to engage the visitor with quality content, quick loading and intuitively guiding them easily through different parts of the website. A great user experience leads to better engagement, more traffic to your site and a higher SEO ranking. Google provides an excellent resource to gauge user experience.

13. Optimise your Google Business Profile.

The best way to attract local customers to your Australian business is by having a Google Business Profile. Previously known as Google My Business, local SEO improves searchability for local keywords and shows your business on search results on the Google maps in your local area. It is a free tool provided by Google that makes it easy for businesses to set up and use to promote their business. It is a great way of getting more foot traffic or drive more local traffic to your website. Locals are likely to search for business that are conveniently located close to them. Connect to people who are living within your service area through a Google business profile. For example, ‘mechanics in North Sydney’, displays the below results however people type in more specific keywords such as changing tyres, major car service, vehicle inspection. Think widely about the different keywords that may be used for your category.

14. Analyse your competitors.

All businesses Australian or not have competitors who are striving to gain market share from each other. Analysing your competitors in what they are doing in the online space gives you an understanding of how you compare to others and where you can make improvements. A SEO competitive analysis allows you to assess where your website sits in terms of keywords you and your competitors are ranking for and see which pages your competitors are performing well traffic wise. Take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of your website and that of your key competitor. Things to note include the quality of their content, the keywords that they use, the internal links and backlinks they have, what it’s like to navigate through their website and how fast it loads up. A competitive analysis should be conducted regularly so you are aware of what your competitors are doing and keeping an eye on them.

15. Audit your site.

An audit of your website is beneficial as it provides you information on how effective your website is. It provides an insight into which areas need to be improved and whether there are any technical or other issues with your website. It is a holistic look at all aspects of your website and how it’s performing overall. A website audit includes an assessment of how your website is performing technically, the content on your website, what the user experience is like, the design and layout of your website and how you are ranking for your keywords. By auditing your website, it will bring to your attention any issues that needs to be addressed. Take a look at a basic website audit checklist here or you can do a free SEO audit of your website here. Having a fully optimised website will lead to more visitor traffic to your website, better conversions and increased profitability of your business.

16. Link to other relevant sites.

One of the ways to rank highly in SEO is by providing external links to other relevant websites. Directing visitors to another website other than your own may not make sense however there are a number of reasons why you should use external links. Linking to relevant external websites helps visitors learn more about information that interests them. External links gives your website more credibility when it is using other websites as a reference point eg statements that includes statistics. The user experience also improves as external links assists in better understanding a subject matter. In this article, we have used numerous external links to credible websites that can provide you further information about actionable SEO tips for Australian businesses to increase rankings on search engines like Google and Bing.

17. Utilise Google Search Console.

Google Search Console is a free tool by Google that enables you to know what Google knows about your website. You can see how your website is performing on Google, locate and fix technical errors. Submit new URLs for indexing to Google. Utilise Google Search Console to gain data and insights into your website and ensure it is performing to its full capability. Google Search Console can also be used to improve your SEO so you can find which keywords are performing well or not. In Google Search Console, keep an eye on Notifications (bell icon). If Google notices an issue, they will communicate it to the webmaster by providing notification, so it is a very important tool.

18. Use Google Analytics.

Another powerful free tool provided by Google is Google Analytics. Free for people with a Google account, it is a service that provides valuable information to businesses about the performance of their website. Statistics and metrics that it gives insights into include the number of users visiting the website, bounce rate, sessions viewed, the average time spent on the site and the total number of pages viewed. Google Analytics collects and analyses data so you can find out how visitors are interacting with your website. From there, you can work out how to best optimise and improve your website which leads to better conversions and growth in your business. Get started and set up your Google Analytics account here.Pro Tip: If you are already using Google Analytics, we recommend you move to GA4 sooner rather than later. The cut off date from Universal Analytics is 30th June 2023. Move now so that there is enough data populated.

19. Link Building.

Link building is one of the most important ranking factors used by Google and other search engines when it comes to SEO. Also known as backlinks, having other websites linking back to your website makes your business seen as an authority in the industry that you are in. Search engines acknowledges this as a tick of approval that your website has quality new content through links. Link building should be from credible and quality websites that align with your business. Ways that you can do this is by being a guest blogger on a website that is relevant to your product or service or creating content that is a thought leadership piece that displays your knowledge and expertise and attract the attention of others in your industry.

20. Leverage the power of SEO tools.

There are plenty of SEO tools available which may help your business increase ranking on search engines. They have different capabilities and functions with ones that are free and ones that are paid. The free SEO tools are great for businesses just starting out or have minimal budgets. SEO tools which are paid provide more functionality. A few useful SEO tools which you can use to improve your SEO ranking include Google Keyword Planner which helps you build a list of keywords and research further into them, Answer the Public provides you insights into the type of questions that people are asking in search engines like Google about your keywords, Ubersuggest helps you with generating keyword ideas. Leverage the power of SEO tools and find which ones suits your business and requirements.

In Conclusion

I have provided you with 20 Actionable SEO Tips that you can apply to your Australian business website today which will help you in increasing rankings.If you’re looking to take that one step further, UR Digital is here to help your website rank highly on Google and other search engines through our expertise and knowledge of SEO. With over 15 years of SEO experience across a range of different industries, we can assist with bringing your business more traffic, leads and grow your customer base. Take action now and build a powerful presence online that will supercharge your Australian business. If you like this post, consider sharing on social media and follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About Pulkit Agrawal

Pulkit Agrawal is the founder and managing director of UR Digital. Pulkit has over 15 years experience in SEO for small, medium and some large sites globally. Today he leads the SEO team at UR Digital. He is also an Advisor at Realise Business for Digital Solutions (formerly ASBAS), Top 50 Small Business Leader 2022 and Top 20 Australian Digital Marketers To Work With in 2022. When not helping with SEO, Pulkit can be found playing and building his Monopoly empire.